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Far from the Madding Crowd (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Thomas Hardy , Linda M. Shires , Suzanne B. Falck-Yi
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Aug 2008 Oxford World's Classics
'I shall do one thing in this life - one thing for certain - that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.' Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart. Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questions rural values with a startlingly modern sensibility. This new edition retains the critical text that restores previously deleted and revised passages. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

Far from the Madding Crowd (Oxford World's Classics) + Germinal (Oxford World's Classics) + The Portrait of a Lady (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reprint edition (14 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537013
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book with fantastic characters! 13 July 2003
By A Customer
I thought that Far From the Madding Crowd was a really good book. It was the first novel by Thomas Hardy that I had read and it encouraged me to read some more of his works.
It is my favourite novel at the moment. I liked it so much because of the fantastic way in which characters are created and established. They are given such strong personalities, like Bathsheba Everdene, that it helps you become swept up in the action.
Far From the Madding Crowd is a novel about a country romance. A beautiful and interesting young woman is caught in a love triangle with three very different men. The first is the honourable and steady Gabriel Oak, who loves Bathsheba and is obviously fated to be with her, even though he seems quite her opposite. There is Farmer Bolwood who becomes obsessed with Bathsheba after she sends him a valentine, he is upstanding yet passive and we watch him drive painfully on to his undeserved end. Then there is the debonare Sargent Troy, who wins womans hearts and breaks them without thought.
This is a novel about life in the country, and how maddening it can be. It follows a magnificent set of characters, set in the beautiful place of Wessex, Hardy's imaginative countryside of England.
My favourite thing about this novel is how it centres on a woman. (A rare thing in the 19th century.) And a woman who is given the power to make her own descisions, be in charge of her money, and given sexual power. Bathsheba Everdene is a wonderful creation, up there with the best of 19th century fictions heroines. As complex as Madame Bouvary, innocent like Tess and tragic like Anna Karenia.
I reccomend this novel to anyone who is a fan of Thomas Hardy, enjoys romance novels or wants to gain a fresh view of England in the 19th century.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising... 19 Aug 2006
When I was at school I was forced to read several Thomas Hardy novels and was bored to tears by them but now that I'm older and, hopefully, wiser I've embarked on a Hardy revival and am loving every second of it.

The description of people and places and the intricate ways in which the characters interact with each other in 'Far From the Madding Crowd' all fit together to produce a piece of fiction which builds to a dramatic climax that will shock. This novel will leave you frustrated, annoyed, shocked and pleased all at the same time!

Victorian values have a lot to answer for!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Womens lib in the Victorian countryside. 3 Nov 2003
No-one can fail to be moved by this novel which contains all the ingredients to keep you enthralled from page one. It can be seen primarily as a romance avoiding the usual unremitting gloom associated with many of Hardy's novels. But it also contains its fair share of death, tragedy and deception. Despite this it is beautifully written and a heartwarming tale, vividly evoking Hardy's familiar countryside.
The main protagonist is a heroine who despite her flaws comes across as a powerful woman surviving in a mans world by running a farm single handed. This makes her an impressive role model. Her trio of romances are sensitively drawn so that we never lose sympathy for any of the characters.
A novel to read again and again. I would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 29 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Turned up quickly in great condition. As for the story, well - it's beautiful. I'm working my way through the 'Classics', and enjoying them immensely.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragedy of life revealed... 29 Jun 2001
By A Customer
An unusually upbeat ending for Hardy... Or is it? I would say not. To marry without passion; to accept what is designed for you by fate; that is the tragedy of life. Bathsheba is a vital and strong woman who is eventually forced into succumbing to the ideals of the patriarchal society in which she lives.
As with all Hardy, you feel you know she could do so much more, but is doomed to remain what she is: woman.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love's trials and tribulations 30 Sep 2012
By Didier TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've shirked away from Hardy for a long time, but having read Under the Greenwood Tree (Oxford World's Classics) (1872) recently and liking it, I decided to give his next novel a try as well. But 'Far from the Madding Crowd' is distinctly different from 'Under the Greenwood Tree' I found. The story can be summarized easily enough: Batsheba Everdene is a beautiful young woman who quite unexpectedly inherits her uncle's farm, and three completely different men start wooing her for her hand in marriage: the shepherd Gabriel Oak who knew her already before she became an independent woman, her neighbour farmer Boldwood who was until then a rather morose and solitary figure, and the dashing young sergeant Troy.

Against the background of rural life Hardy describes how events develop, and how all major characters' lives are thoroughly changed. As in 'Under the Greenwood Tree', there is this (I guess typical for Hardy) mix of introspective pieces where he analyzes in depth the feelings and motivations of his principal characters, set against the typical scenes of Wessex rural life, and how it evolves from season to season much as it has done for many years before. But isolated and frozen in time as the small Weatherbury community may seem at first, this is no happy and carefree Arcadia however, and before the end of the story people die (and not of old age), murder is attempted, and Hardy chronicles how here too sorrow and misery are as much a part of daily life as love and marriage.

It's definitely not the idyllic pastoral image we may have of rural life in those days, but it rings so much more true. All in all a disturbing and beautifully written novel, with very strong characters, and one which has confirmed my opinion of Hardy as a very powerful novelist.
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